A Letter From The Government.

Comrades!

Feel glory in the wonderful opportunity that central government has given you. Your inability to reach the required number of 'Amber' calls in the mandatory time has resulted in a new and innovative plan to allow intellectuals to shine.

We are to cut your budget by £1.6 million, thus allowing you to 'think smarter' in order to reach these same goals in time for next year's auditing.

As that cute white kitty says 'hang in there baby' for while some of the proletariat may see this as a 'punishment' rest assured that this is no such thing. By cutting your budget we will enable innovative practice to flourish. By placing this obstacle in the path of providing world class healthcare we will be 'evolutioning out' poor ideas and this burning of the forest of old ideas will enable new sprouts of innovative innovation to sprout sproutlike from the bed of innovation.

True, the valued, committed, diverse and hard-working staff of the organisation may suggest that the nineteen minute target to reach these 'Amber' calls is not based on any clinical or scientific evidence – however we leave it to LAS management to design some eye-catching and diverse posters explaining that it is the public's perception of the service that is more important than anything approaching clinical need.

May we suggest that any roadstaff that suffer a break in morale should be moved to East London where the constant influx of deeply sub-healthy and not-up-to-standard education patients will remind the staff that they are truly lucky to be working for such an innovative, forward thinking and diversely diverse organisation.

Those who complain about a lack of blankets and blood sugar machines should be shot as an example to the others.

We look forward to seeing the innovation that your staff create – might I suggest hiring a few new managers at £70k salaries a shot to facilitate the innovation?

Yours faithfully (and innovationingly),

The government.

—–

Seriously, we've just had our budget cut by £1.6 million (it was supposed to be £3 million but the fine was reduced after some begging negotiation) over our inability to hit the 'Amber 19' target. That is reaching a certain percentage of our 'Amber' calls in nineteen minutes or less. Again this target number is not based on any sort of, I dunno, evidence. Instead it is based around what the public demand.

Ho-hum. That'll help with the shortage of blankets, vehicles and other rather useful kit that I find missing from my ambulance whenever I start a shift.

12 thoughts on “A Letter From The Government.”

  1. So let me get this straight LAS didn't have enough money this year to hire enough staff and ambulances to reach all of their “targets”. This being the case, the government decided that the the appropriate remedy was to reduce the amount of money available?To what kind of person does this make any sort of sense?

  2. Ever get the feeling that the people deciding this sort of thing simply have a great big book with all the relevant financial aspects of running the country, with “Ambulances” and “Hospitals” in the “Costs” column with absolutely no supporting information as to *why* they actually cost money?The bottom line looks bad, we'll just take off a million here, a million there…

  3. The 19 minute limit is for amber targets, but most calls are reds being for runny noses and drunks-in-the-gutter-sleeping-it-off. So how do you achieve the amber target when the red has priority?Coupled with an enormous amount of the budget going on administration, it's easy to see why LAS morale is so deep in the pits.

  4. I have been meaning to post about something similar for some time myself. A&E breach targets. If less than 98% of patients are off the department within four hours of being clarked in the department receives a “financial penalty” (a fine). So despite the fact that the current number of nursing and medical staff using equipment in the current state are unable to meet the targets set by those who have never seen a clinical environment we are now expected to do this with less money?At the risk of blowing a vessel I'll end the rant there.

  5. Now imagine the same thing but giving 26% of your salary for the opportunity to maybe get it. Our system has been asked to make a 20% reduction this year and still meet a 9 minute goal. That's $218 million. Think you have it bad…egads we're treading water and we have it good.

  6. As A Manager i could never work it out, we got more money for hitting our targets and wasted on more bloody managers!. Then hang on we started to under perfom and then had money taken away from us!!!. Ha well the goverment must know what they are doing. The only thing is they are the only ones who do, because they dont tell us down on the shop floor where the S++T is, and trying to work in it.

  7. I think it's a great idea. A huge amount of money was spent last year, trying to get us all to do enough overtime to save us from the shortfall in staffing levels. It failed.

    The solution, take money away from us, that way we are guaranteed not to have enough to hit this years targets. The government has to save a huge amount of cash and this is a good way to guarantee getting it back, without having to tell the public that it is cutting our funding.

    A true win win situation, unless you are a nan-down then forget about calling an ambulance coz it wont be coming.

  8. Ahh that explains why we have had to use our own blankets, pillows and a sheet at various times when using the ambulance service for my dad. There was also the faulty main equipment like straps to secure patients, scoop stretcher bot working properly, heating not working in sub zero temperatures (dad was not registering on his temp so it was not to useful) And some of their other equipment needed was broken.Thankfully the teams were great sadly always very embarrassed about the lack or broken items when it was not their fault. Their training was not lacking, or their sense of humour.

  9. Well, I could probably write a million-words rant about it, so I'll try to stick to the facts…Many months ago, I discovered that the LAS was recruiting student paramedics. “How wonderful”, I thought, and I applied for it. Since I live abroad, that meant that I had to take a C driving licence in my home country (still EU, around 1200 euros), buy books to prepare for the tests (some 100 euros on Amazon), fly to London twice for a test and an interview (let's say another 1000 euros overall) and take driving lessons in London to learn to drive on the right side of the road (sorry for the bad pun, anyway that's another 100 pounds).

    I'm not rich, but I loved the idea. Besides, when you apply for a job advertised on the prospective employer's website it usually goes without saying that, in case you pass the selection process, you have a job waiting for you. So I tried hard and I passed both the test and the interview, burning out most of my savings in the process.

    Until I received a very nice (around 5 lines, how nice, uh?) letter from LAS recruitment informing me that yes, I had passed everyting, but they had just discovered that there wasn't enough money to start student paramedic courses for the next financial year.

    So thank you, government. And thank you, recruitment, for checking if you had enough money to hire only after a long selection process. Which, by the way, must have also cost some good taxpayer's money to perform.

    PS: if you take a look around on facebook, you're going to discover that there are at least 50-70 people in this “funny” situation.

  10. The man management of the LAS is very poor and by all accounts it seems to be an NHS wide problem. I've always believed in the concept of if you look after the morale of the staff the targets will take care of themselves as people will WANT to help their managers out.With the amount of stick (and no carrot) going around it's no surpirise crews seem to find any opportunity to play the system.

    Even if you decide to join the LAS sadly you'vre ALREADY experienced why morale is so low.

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